For immediate release: Tuesday November 5, 2013
Statement by Mark Crawford, SNAP New Jersey Director (732-632-7687, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today and tomorrow, four cardinals, 40 bishops, and 250 priests will wine, dine and celebrate the promotion of one of their own as the newest monarch of the Newark Catholic Archdiocese.
And when it’s over, the on-going crisis of clergy child sex crimes being covered up by Newark Catholic officials will remain unaddressed.
It’s a disservice to kids to suggest otherwise. It hurts kids when adults deceive themselves into believing that any one man can or will “fix” this continuing crisis.
We are all desperate to see kids protected, predators exposed, enablers punished and cover ups uncovered in the Catholic church. But we cannot, in our desperation, cling to illusions that make adults feel better but leave children vulnerable.
Make no mistake about it: Archbishop John Myers is still in charge. Nothing has changed. When he retires, nothing will change. This isn’t about “bad apples.” It’s about a very, very corrupt barrel, led by old, secretive, rigid, male monarchs who are accustomed to being treated like royalty and often ignoring or breaking secular laws about children’s safety.
What WILL bring change is a formula that’s nowhere near as photogenic as men in long, expensive robes wearing tall expensive hats. Change happens every time a victim, witness or whistleblower speaks up. Change happens every time a loved one believes a child sex abuse report and contacts law enforcement. Change happens
Change doesn’t happen when one bishop joins another. When it comes to the well-being of children, two bishops isn’t better than one bishop.
In the St. Paul/Minneapolis archdiocese, four priests have “broken ranks” with their timid colleagues and corrupt supervisors. They have publicly criticized their own archbishop for protecting predators instead of children.
Sadly, we see no such courage in Newark. When the clerical code of silence begins to break, change will happen in Newark.
Most newer prelates are more PR savvy than older prelates. But the newer monarchs are rarely less self-serving than their predecessors. They tend to be just as fixated on their reputations and careers as Myers and his colleagues (from Cardinal Roger Mahony to Cardinal Bernard Law) are.
So let’s not confuse pageantry with progress. Let’s insist on real reform. Kids need that. And victims deserve that.